Motor recovery in post-stroke patients with aphasia: The role of specific linguistic abilities

Valeria Ginex, Laura Veronelli, Nicola Vanacore, Eleonora Lacorte, Alessia Monti, Massimo Corbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Aphasia is a serious consequence of stroke but aphasics patients have been routinely excluded from participation in some areas of stroke research. Objective: To assess the role of specific linguistic and non-verbal cognitive abilities on the short-term motor recovery of patients with aphasia due to first-ever stroke to the left hemisphere after an intensive rehabilitation treatment. Methods: 48 post-acute aphasic patients, who underwent physiotherapy and speech language therapy, were enrolled for this retrospective cohort-study. Four types of possible predictive factors were taken into account: clinical variables, functional status, language and non-verbal cognitive abilities. The motor FIM at discharge was used as the main dependent variable. Results: Patients were classified as follows: 6 amnestic, 9 Broca’s, 7 Wernicke’s, and 26 global aphasics. Motor FIM at admission (p = 0.003) and at discharge (p = 0.042), all linguistic subtests of Aachener AphasieTest (p = 0.001), and non-verbal reasoning abilities (Raven’s CPM, p = 0.006) resulted significantly different across different types of aphasia. Post-hoc analyses showed differences only between global aphasia and the other groups. A Multiple Linear Regression shows that admission motor FIM (p = 0.001) and Token test (p = 0.040), adjusted for clinical, language, and non-verbal reasoning variables, resulted as independent predictors of motor FIM scores at discharge, while Raven’s CPM resulted close to statistical significance. Conclusions: Motor function at admission resulted as the variable that most affects the motor recovery of post-stroke patients with aphasia after rehabilitation. A linguistic test requiring also non-linguistic abilities, including attention and working memory (i.e. Token test) is an independent predictor as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-434
Number of pages7
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Aphasia
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Predictors of recovery
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Community and Home Care
  • Clinical Neurology


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